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Kitajima wins breaststroke double

August 18, 2004 23:59 IST
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Kosuke Kitajima won the men's 200 metres breaststroke final at the Athens Olympics on Wednesday to collect his second gold medal in four days.

The Japanese university student led all the way to win easily in a time of two minutes 09.44 seconds, just four-tenths of a second outside American Brendan Hansen's world record.

Hansen, who went into the Olympics as favourite to win gold after setting the world record for 100 and 200 breaststroke at last month's U.S. trials, was second turning for home but eventually settled for the bronze medal after slipping to third in 2:10.87.

Hungary's Daniel Gyurta, just 15 years old, flashed home to grab the silver in 2:10.80.

Kitajima beat Hansen in a tight finish to win the 100 final on Sunday and repeat the breaststroke double he won at last year's world championships in Barcelona.

He broke both world records in Spain but went into the games ranked second after Hansen snatched them away last month.

Kitajima stamped his authority on Wednesday's final from the outset. He left the blocks faster than everyone else and was under world record pace at the end of the first 50 metres and was never seriously threatened again.

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